Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 122–127 | Cite as

Effect of a Tart Cherry Juice Supplement on Arterial Stiffness and Inflammation in Healthy Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial

  • Anthony Lynn
  • Shilpa Mathew
  • Chris T. Moore
  • Jean Russell
  • Emma Robinson
  • Vithleem Soumpasi
  • Margo E. Barker
Original Paper


Tart cherries are a particularly rich source of anthocyanins. Evidence indicates that dietary intake of anthocyanins is inversely associated with arterial stiffness. We conducted an open-label randomised placebo controlled study to determine whether a tart cherry juice concentrate (Cherry Active®) reduced arterial stiffness, inflammation and risk markers for cardiovascular disease in 47 healthy adults (30–50 years). Participants consumed 30 ml of cherry concentrate diluted to a volume of 250 ml with water or the same volume of an energy matched control drink daily for six weeks. Measurements were taken at baseline and at the end of the intervention. There was no effect of the intervention on arterial stiffness (P = 0.218), c-reactive protein (P = 0.220), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.163), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.121), total cholesterol (P = 0.342) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.127). At the end of the intervention, plasma antioxidant capacity (measured as the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP)) was significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group (P = 0.012). We conclude that a tart cherry juice concentrate rich in anthocyanins has no effect on arterial stiffness, c-reactive protein and risk markers for cardiovascular disease, but evokes a minor increase in antioxidant status in healthy adults.


Cherry Arterial stiffness Inflammation Blood pressure 



Blood pressure


Body mass index


Coefficient of variation


C-reactive protein


Diastolic blood pressure


Ferric reducing-antioxidant power


High density lipoprotein


Pulse wave velocity


Systolic blood pressure


Standard deviation



AL and MEB designed the study and wrote the manuscript. JR carried out the statistical analysis. SM, CTM, ER and VS were responsible for data collection. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. We thank Cherry Active, Sunbury UK for supplying the cherry juice. We are grateful to all our volunteers for their time and commitment.

The study was funded by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Huxley RR, Neil HA (2003) The relation between dietary flavonol intake and coronary heart disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 57:904–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM et al (2007) Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in post-menopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 85:895–909Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Lui L et al (2013) High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Circulation 127:188–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kirakosyan A, Seymour EM, Llanes DE et al (2009) Chemical profile and antioxidant capacities of tart cherry products. Food Chem 115:20–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yao LH, Jiang YM, Shi J et al (2004) Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 59:113–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM et al (1999) Antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities of anthocyanins and their aglycon, cyanidin, from tart cherries. J Nat Prod 62:294–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD (2001) Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries. Phytomedicine 8:362–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Xu JW, Ikeda K, Yamon Y (2004) Upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase by cyanidin-3-glucoside, a typical anthocyanin pigment. Hypertension 44:217–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Saric A, Saobacanec S, Balog T et al (2009) Improved antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential in mice consuming sour cherry juice (Prunus cerasus cv. Maraska). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 64:231–237Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kelley DS, Rasooly R, Jacob RA et al (2006) Consumption of Bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. J Nutr 136:981–986Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kelley DS, Adkins Y, Reddy A et al (2013) Sweet Bing cherries lower circulating concentrations of markers for chronic inflammatory diseases in healthy humans. J Nutr 143:340–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Connolly DA, McHugh MP, Padilla-Zakour OI et al (2006) Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing symptoms of muscle damage. Br J Sports Med 40:679–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA et al (2010) Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports 20:843–852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jennings A, Welch AA, Fairweather-Tait SJ et al (2012) Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women. Am J Clin Nutr 96:781–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McEniery CM, Wallace S, Mackenzie IS et al (2006) Endothelial function is associated with pulse pressure, pulse wave velocity, and augmentation index in healthy humans. Hypertension 48:602–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bell DR, Gochenaur K (2006) Direct vasoactive and vasoprotective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts. J Appl Physiol 110:1164–1170. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00626.2005 Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhu Y, Xia M, Yang Y et al (2011) Purified anthocyanin supplementation improves endothelial function via NO-cGMP activation in hypercholesterolemic individuals. Clin Chem 57:1524–1533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dohadwala MM, Holbrook M, Hamburg NM et al (2011) Effects of cranberry juice consumption on vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease. Am J Clin Nutr 93:934–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bonerz D, Würth K, Dietrich H, Will F (2007) Anthocyanin characterisation and impact of ageing on anthocyanin composition and degradation in juices from five sour cherry cultivars. Eur Food Res Technol 224:355–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J et al (2012) Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr 51:909–916Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lynn A, Hamadeh H, Leung WC et al (2012) Effects of pomegranate juice supplementation on pulse wave velocity and blood pressure in healthy young and middle-aged men and women. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67:309–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Naismith DJ, Braschi A (2003) The effect of low-dose potassium supplementation on blood pressure in apparently healthy volunteers. Br J Nutr 90:53–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    O’Brien E, Waeber B, Parati G et al (2001) Blood pressure measuring devices: recommendations of the European Society of Hypertension. BMJ 322:531–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Benzie IF, Strain JJ (1999) Ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay: direct measure of total antioxidant activity of biological fluids and modified version for simultaneous measurement of total antioxidant power and ascorbic acid concentration. Methods Enzymol 299:15–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Vickers AJ, Altman DJ (2001) Analysing controlled trials with baseline and follow up measurements. BMJ 323:1123–1124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bland M (2000) An introduction to medical statistics, 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ryu OH, Lee J, Lee KW et al (2006) Effects of green tea consumption on inflammation, insulin resistance and pulse wave velocity in type 2 diabetes patients. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 71:356–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Teede HJ, McGrath BP, DeSilva L et al (2003) Isoflavones reduce arterial stiffness: a placebo-controlled study in men and postmenopausal women. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 23:1066–1071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hasselhund SS, Flaa A, Sandvik L et al (2012) Effects of anthocyanins on blood pressure and stress reactivity: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study. J Hum Hypertens 26:396–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Curtis PJ, Kroon PA, Hollands WJ et al (2009) Cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers and liver and kidney function are not altered in postmenopausal women after ingesting an elderberry extract rich in anthocyanins for 12 weeks. J Nutr 139:2266–2271Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Chong MFF, MacDonald R, Lovegrove JA (2010) Fruit polyphenols and CVD risk: a review of human intervention studies. Br J Nutr 104:S28–S39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ridker PM, Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Rifai N (2000) C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. N Engl J Med 342:836–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Damar I, Eksi A (2012) Antioxidant capacity and anthocyanin profile of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) juice. Food Chem 135:2910–2914Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jacob RA, Spinozzi GM, Simon VA et al (2003) Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr 133:1826–1829Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Lynn
    • 1
  • Shilpa Mathew
    • 2
  • Chris T. Moore
    • 2
  • Jean Russell
    • 3
  • Emma Robinson
    • 2
  • Vithleem Soumpasi
    • 2
  • Margo E. Barker
    • 2
  1. 1.Food and Nutrition Group, Sheffield Business SchoolSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Oncology, School of MedicineUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.CICSUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations